With the daunting task of developing its brand-new GS BMW M3 V8s during the 10-round Continental Tire championship, BimmerWorld has faced an uphill battle throughout the season, but progress towards the goal of turning its M3 V8s into winners continued last weekend at the Road America 200.
In what can only be described as a character-building season, BimmerWorld left Road America with more repairs to be made than race results, but that doesn't diminish the strides being made on the GS front or what BimmerWorld's two-car ST BMW 328i program is achieving.
An overwhelming amount of contact and misfortune found three of BimmerWorld's four entries sidelined or delayed during the 2.5-hour race at Road America, with Bill Heumann and David White earning the lone top 10 for the team in their No. 80 BimmerWorld BMW 328i.
The sister No. 81 BimmerWorld 328i was forced out of the race after just 21 laps in the 44-lap race, but Nathanial Sparks--making his pro racing debut--did a stellar job until the car was retired.
Good fortune failed to smile on BimmerWorld's other newcomer, Lyonel Kent, who was taken out in the No. 78 BimmerWorld BMW M3 V8 after just six laps. Kent also impressed during the weekend, but just like Sparks encountered, early exits meant their teammates--John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 81 and Gregory Liefooghe in the No. 78--didn't get a chance to turn laps during the race.
While team owner/driver James Clay isn't one to celebrate moral victories, he and co-driver Seth Thomas left Road America feeling confident BimmerWorld's GS program is closing in on success.
"Certainly as we have shot past the halfway-mark of the season, I am happy to see that we are now in the fight in GS. Unfortunately it is a real battle up there and our results showed more scars than results this weekend, but having developed our cars to the point that we now have the ability to fight for good finishes is awesome."
With three races left on the Continental Tires series calendar, Clay says he wants nothing more than to close out 2011 on a strong and positive note.
"I would like to cap the season off with a few podium visits and I feel like it is in the cards. This weekend was also a chance to start gearing up for 2012 and try out some new roles for different drivers. Racing is a sport